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Erkelenz hospital

Electricity and heat for critical infrastructure

The Hermann Josef Hospital (HJK) in Erkelenz is becoming a demonstration project for tomorrow’s climate-friendly energy supply. Together with our partner Hydrogenious, we are coupling new hydrogen technologies – to drive forward the energy transition. The Helmholtz Hydrogen Cluster (HC-H2), based at Forschungszentrum Jülich, is coordinating the project.

Woman with tablet in front of an SOFC fuel cell system

About the showcase hydrogen project

The goals of the project at Erkelenz Hospital are clear: a significant reduction in carbon emissions and a more efficient energy supply. Together with our partners, we are looking to demonstrate the innovative combination of two novel hydrogen technologies by the end of 2026. We will examine whether the hydrogen technologies can meet half the hospital’s base load.

The showcase hydrogen project at Erkelenz hospital is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Logo: Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Our pilot application at a glance


Demonstration project for the climate-friendly energy supply of the future by combining the hydrogen technologies LOHC and SOFC.

Area of application

Hospital building. The demonstration project is intended to be a globally visible model for the future energy supply of large buildings.

Installation site

Hermann Josef Hospital in Erkelenz. The project in Erkelenz is the first of several demonstrators that the HC-H2 is coordinating in the Rhenish mining area.

Our hospital’s clinical operations consistently consume at least 92 kilowatts of electricity and 220 kilowatts of heat per year. Because we operate around the clock, we have a constant level of demand, which was a key point for the project. We feel it’s important to help develop hydrogen technologies, and we’re very pleased to be a part of this innovation project.

Jann Habbinga, Administrative Director of Hermann Josef Hospital Erkelenz

The project focuses on our Bosch solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system developed for supplying electricity and heat. A pilot installation with a performance range of 100 kilowatt will supplement the existing combined heat and power plant at the hospital in Erkelenz as of mid-2023. Even in its first stage, when the system still runs on natural gas, the project will already reduce carbon emissions by 150 metric tons per year. As the project proceeds, we plan to gradually increase the proportion of hydrogen in the gas mixture for the SOFC system – and thus achieve further reductions in carbon emissions.

How to combine LOHC and SOFC

In a subsequent expansion stage starting in early 2025, the SOFC system will be supplied with hydrogen that has been chemically bonded to a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC): the hydrogen stored in the LOHC will be released in a dehydrogenation unit, to be installed on-site by our partner Hydrogenious, and then fed into the fuel cell. This LOHC system will be ramped up using heat from the SOFC system, which in the future will also provide the energy needed for the reaction to release the hydrogen from the LOHC. Until then, the system will be heated electrically.

At Erkelenz hospital, the innovative combination of two novel hydrogen technologies is demonstrated: liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC).
Dr. Wilfried Kölscheid

Having a decentralized power supply is becoming increasingly essential. Our solid oxide fuel cell system generates electricity in a climate-friendly and demand-driven manner. This is our way of securing the supply for critical infrastructure such as hospitals and playing an important part in climate action. The project in Erkelenz is a great opportunity to use our SOFC system in the infrastructure of a hospital for the first time, and will later demonstrate the benefits of using the system in combination with an LOHC system.

Dr. Wilfried Kölscheid, Head of Engineering & Manufacturing, Bosch SOFC
Our SOFC pilot system at Erkelenz hospital
  1. SOFC units installed
  2. kW electrical energy (nominal)
  3. kW thermal energy
  4. metric tons of carbon emissions reduced per year in the first project stage

The Bosch SOFC system is currently in the pilot phase. All technical specifications given are development objectives and refer to the beginning of life.

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